Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Govt National Objectives Framework a significant step

Media Release: Government’s National Objectives Framework a significant step

The Government has today released an amended National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, including a National Objectives Framework, which sets national bottom lines for some freshwater quality parameters.

“The creation of a National Objectives Framework was a key recommendation of the Land and Water Forum. It is significant step forward to have national bottom lines which will guide objective and limit setting around the country,” said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.

“The content of the National Objectives Framework was always going to be critical. We have some concerns as to whether the detail will in fact lead to the water quality improvements New Zealanders are demanding.

“Submitters said that they wanted to be able to swim in lakes and rivers close to where they live. However the National Policy Statement includes a new objective to ‘safeguard the health of people and communities, at least as affect by secondary contact with fresh water’. This means that there is no national requirement for lakes and rivers to be swimmable because secondary contact is limited to wading.

“This means that communities will need to fight for the right to swim in local lakes and rivers. Instead of giving New Zealanders certainty this means we will have to continue to engage in litigation.

“Safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of freshwater bodies remains a key objective of the National Policy Statement. However, we are concerned that the National Objectives Framework does not provide national bottom lines consistent with this objective.

“The Macroinvertebrate Index (MCI) (a measure of invertebrates living in rivers) is the best way to measure ecosystem health. Despite cross-sector agreement in the Land and Water Forum on the need to include MCI, Ministers appear to have vetoed its inclusion in the National Objectives Framework.

“The National Objectives Framework puts in place a national bottom line for nitrogen toxicity. This is a big problem. The Board of Inquiry which recently heard the Tukituki Catchment Proposal rejected proposed nitrogen toxicity limits, deciding that dissolved inorganic nitrogen limits are required to maintain ecosystem health. This is the case throughout New Zealand.

“The inclusion of a national bottom line for nitrogen toxicity means there is a risk regional councils will view this as an appropriate limit. We are going to have to argue for nitrogen limits that will achieve ecosystem health in each freshwater planning process. Instead of providing certainty this omission means we will have to continue to engage in litigation.

“There are a number of Land and Water Forum recommendations still to be implemented, including a new collaborative freshwater plan making process. Unfortunately, legislation to implement collaborative plan making has been held up due the Government’s fixation on amending Part 2 of the RMA,” Mr Taylor concluded.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Asylum: Dunne Accepts Hundreds Of Postcards On Refugee Categories

Minister Peter Dunne today accepted over 800 postcards calling for convention refugees to have the same entitlements as quota refugees... The campaign has been run with ActionStation together with LUSH Cosmetics, with postcards being signed in stores around New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Reshuffle: PM Announces Changes To Ministerial Portfolios

Prime Minister Bill English today announced the appointment of Gerry Brownlee as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy as Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education and Mark Mitchell as Minister of Defence. More>>

ALSO:

Q+A Transcript: CTU Call For 'National Standards' On Wages

‘If you look at countries who do better than us, who pay wages better, who have more competitive industries, more successful economies, they have systems where there are national standards.’ More>>

ALSO:

Energy: Greens Launch Plan For Cheaper And Cleaner Electricity

$112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills • setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions) • an investigation into the electricity wholesale market. More>>

ALSO:

Health Workers Respond: People's Mental Health Report Released

The People's Mental Health Review reinforces a recent YesWeCare.nz survey of 6,000 health workers, which found nine in 10 believe they don't have the staff or resources to deliver the care Kiwis need when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

More Mental Health:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news